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Free school meals for all infant school pupils in England

17 Sep 2013

All pupils at infant schools in England are to get free school lunches from September 2014, according to an announcement by Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg that is being reported by the BBC.

The move will affect children in reception, year one and year two and is estimated to save parents about £400 a year for each child.

Clegg said that targeting infants would ensure that every child got the chance in life they deserved, that they were taught healthy eating habits and it would boost attainment.

Money is being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to fund similar schemes.

Free primary school meals for all pupils was one of the recommendations of a recent review of school food by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, the founders of the Leon restaurant chain, which they carried out for the Department for Education.

Clegg was reported as saying: "A healthy hot meal gives children the ability to concentrate and do well in the classroom.

"My ambition is that every primary school pupil should be able to sit down to a hot, healthy lunch with their classmates every day.

"We will start with infant school pupils because teaching healthy habits young, and boosting attainment early, will bring the biggest benefits.

"Universal free school meals will help give every child the chance in life that they deserve, building a stronger economy and fairer society."